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datatime: 2022-12-02 03:30:44 Author:lNsWIByl

'So I did,' she said, conceding his point with an apologetic look. 'Forgive me. That was Swann talking. He hated to be called a magician. He said that was a word that had to be kept for miracle-workers.'

He looked at her strangely, almost as though she'd said something obscene.

'I'd think sometimes-it was a kind of miracle that he let me into his life . . .'

'We were only over for three months, while his show ran. We were going back in September . . .'

'But you don't believe it?'

Valentin had appeared with a glass of milk. He set it down on the table in front of Harry. As he made to leave, she said: 'Valentin. The letter?'

'Did you ever see his performance?'

Harry wanted to say Swann would have been mad not to have done so, but the comment was inappropriate. She didn't want blandishments; didn't need them. Didn't need anything, perhaps, but her husband alive again.

He looked at her strangely, almost as though she'd said something obscene.

'He's grief-stricken,' she said. 'Forgive him his behaviour. He was with Swann from the beginning of his career. I think he loved my husband as much as I did.'

'And he was no miracle-worker?'

'I called him a magician a while back,' Harry said. 'You corrected me.'

'Oh yes. I lived with Swann seven and a half years, and I got to understand him as well as anybody ever could. I learned to sense when he wanted me around, and when he didn't. When he didn't, I'd take myself off somewhere and let him have his privacy. Genius needs privacy. And he was a genius, you know. The greatest illusionist since Houdini.'

'So I did,' she said, conceding his point with an apologetic look. 'Forgive me. That was Swann talking. He hated to be called a magician. He said that was a word that had to be kept for miracle-workers.'

Harry shook his head. 'I can't afford Broadway, Mrs. Swann.'

'I'd think sometimes-it was a kind of miracle that he let me into his life . . .'

'Illusionist,' she said.

'Don't blame New York,' he said. 'It can't help itself.'

'He used to call himself the Great Pretender,' she said. The thought made her smile.

'He used to call himself the Great Pretender,' she said. The thought made her smile.

Valentin had appeared with a glass of milk. He set it down on the table in front of Harry. As he made to leave, she said: 'Valentin. The letter?'

'He's grief-stricken,' she said. 'Forgive him his behaviour. He was with Swann from the beginning of his career. I think he loved my husband as much as I did.'

'Did you ever see his performance?'

Valentin had appeared with a glass of milk. He set it down on the table in front of Harry. As he made to leave, she said: 'Valentin. The letter?'

'But you don't believe it?'

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